Plan your personal security like a vacation

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In Monday’s article about self defense tips I mentioned that the path to personal security, home defense and family protection doesn’t come from digesting little soundbites or snippets of information. Those sorts of things might make you feel good or give you a temporary (and very illusory) sense of security, but in reality they don’t do much to actually make you or your family any safer.

What will help with your safety and defense preparations? First, taking a look at ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for June 29, 2016

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This week’s Hump Day Reading List is full of great information for the self-reliant! First, a new course promises to open your eyes to a new way of looking at personal safety; how to help your body adapt to summer’s heat; Greg Ellifritz looks at the question of giving first aid to someone you’ve defended yourself from; a look at what happens when you’re distracted in public; you’re a prepper and probably don’t even realize it; why you really do ...

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Self defense is more than just reading some “safety tips”. Here’s why.

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Every morning I get up, make a cup of tea, and sit down to do my morning reading. One of the things that comes across my desk (well, my iPad screen anyhow) is a Google Alerts search for the term “self defense”. I get quite a few news stories in that feed; the most common type are criminals claiming self defense for killing a drug-dealing rival. Wonder why self defense claims are met with some skepticism by prosecutors AND defense ...

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“All The Lumens”: how much flashlight do you really need for self defense?

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I got an interesting email in response to my recent review of the FourSevens Quark Smart QS2L-X and Preon P2 lights. In that review I said that the lithium-powered Quark Smart, at 950 lumens, was actually more than enough light for my purposes and that the Preon at 220 lumens was still easily sufficient for use as a defensive tool.

From the tone of the email you’d think I’d attacked holy writ! He told me that I was ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for June 22, 2016

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In this week’s Reading List: a course to build your situational awareness; planning ahead to foil a home invasion; why you need a get-home bag; securing your home in the country; how to spot a card skimmer; self defense for those who can’t fight; and a look at bugging out as a survival strategy.

 

Threat Awareness Workshop coming up soon!

We talk a lot about the idea of how to stay aware of your surroundings, but how many of us have ever ...

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Flashlight Review: FourSevens Preon P2 and lithium Quark Smart

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Last week I reviewed the new FourSevens Quark Smart QS2A-X and found it to be perhaps the ideal self defense flashlight for the average person. Now I said “average person”, not “training junkie” or “tactical hobbyist” — one of the reasons I put it that way is because it uses ubiquitous AA batteries, either alkaline or rechargeable, which are a cheap and readily available power source. The AA-powered Quark Smart is cheap to run, which means it’s more likely to ...

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Training Talk looks at fighting back during active shooter events. Watch the episode now!

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Last night’s Training Talk episode was a great one!

Rob Pincus joined me for a wide-ranging discussion about dealing with active shooter/spree killer events, focusing on the will and preparation to fight — using whatever tools might be at hand. In addition Rob filled us in on the new online PDN Academy courses, a new distance learning initiative for self defense knowledge and skills.

If you missed it, click here to watch the replay!

— Grant Cunningham

 

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Want to improve your skill development? Take notes during class. Lots of ’em.

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A couple of years ago I was teaching a class in which there was an interesting mix of students: there were two public-sector firearms instructors, one from a state agency and one from a federal agency, along with the normal range of people you’d find at any shooting course anywhere in the country — blue collar, white collar, redneck and professional. All of them were motivated enough to sign up for class and pay good money for the dubious privilege ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for June 15, 2016

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This week we’re going to look at the importance of first aid during a terrorist attack; a man defends himself with a saucepan; some realities your CCW instructor didn’t tell you; why the pistol caliber carbine is a home defense winner; the fallacy behind night sights; understanding flashlights beyond lumens; senior citizens head to the range, for good reasons; why your defensive shooting instruction may not be all that valid; and finally, it’s not just the drug addict on the ...

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Is this the best self defense flashlight yet? FourSevens Quark Smart review

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Background

For many years now my carry light of choice has been the FourSevens Quark Tactical QT2A-X. It had most of the features I demand in a self defense light: it has sufficiently high output to work as a distraction tool, but at the same time has a fairly wide beam which is ideal for lighting up confined spaces; it’s long enough, thanks to the two AA batteries it houses, to serve as a makeshift Kubaton (which I’ve been trained to ...

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Book Review: The Law of Self Defense, Third Edition, by Andrew Branca

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A little over two years ago I reviewed the Second Edition of Andrew Branca’s book “The Law Of Self Defense”. In that review I said:

“If you own a gun for home or personal protection, I highly recommend that you get a copy of LOSD. It will explain the legal system thoroughly yet understandably, and will give you the information you need to deal with the laws where you live.”

It’s now two years later and Branca recently sent me a ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for June 8, 2016

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I’m always looking for great self defense information that the average person can really use, and this week I found a bunch of great articles! First, a look at training to use a defensive firearm even if the user has some infirmities; a real-life reason why you should have a “get home bag”; don’t call unwanted attention to your car; a look at some realities of police shootings that have important lessons in the private sector; the 12-gauge shotgun, properly ...

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The AR-15 does a lot of things well. Except this.

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Sometimes I think I’m the only person in the shooting/self defense field who’s actually thinking about the average person: the man or woman who doesn’t want to become a soldier or a police officer, doesn’t want to look like one, doesn’t want to spend all their free time on a shooting range, and doesn’t care about a PR in a WOD. (I had to look those up to figure out what they were, too!) I mention this because I take ...

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Did you miss last night’s Training Talk? You missed a great discussion about women’s concealed carry!

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Last night’s episode of PDN Training Talk was superb!

My special guest was Julie Loeffler, who did a great great job explaining the issues women face with concealed carry of defensive tools. She started explaining about women’s body types and how to pick concealment holsters and clothing for each type; then she = covered belts, yoga pants, bellybands, and even a bit about shoes and carrying a flashlight clipped to a bra strap!

If you’re a woman who is getting into concealed carry, or ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for June 1, 2016

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It’s the first of June, and what better way to celebrate with some great articles? I’ll start with yet another example of what NOT to do with your personal defense handgun; a look at what burglars do when they enter a home; should you carry a gun in church?; debunking myths about tourniquets; keeping toddlers safe around guns; a guide to buying a suppressor; keeping safe in hotels; and speaking of suppressors, a look at a cool vintage one.

 

You are ...

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Looking for the finest revolvers you can buy? Korth is finally coming to the U.S.!

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At the NRA Show last week a surprise lurked: another company known for 1911 pistols decided to jump into the revolver market. This time the company was Nighthawk Custom, and the revolvers they showed weren’t your average, ordinary wheelguns.

That’s because Nighthawk decided to team up with an established revolver maker, but one that has never officially sold their products in this country. That maker is the legendary Korth from Germany, makers of what have been described as the “Rolls Royce” ...

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Catch last night’s Training Talk replay!

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Another great show last night on Training Talk!

I discussed what I did at the NRA Meetings and Exhibits; dissected some self defense myths overheard at the show; discussed a different way to look at what a threat is; answered a viewer who wanted to know what to do when faced with a physical infirmity; considered an elderly but untrained person’s gun choice; went over what makes a defensive flashlight; and explored  traveling light as a defensive tool.

Here’s the link to the show page

— Grant 

P.S.: Remember to ...

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The NRA Show, part two: self defense products

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As I mentioned on Wednesday, I attended the NRA Annual Meetings (NRAAM) last weekend in Louisville, KY. The major attraction is the trade show which is an integral part of the event. It’s the country’s largest consumer trade show focused on shooting, whether it’s for sport, competition, or self defense.

It’s that last item which I’m most interested in and the reason I attend. It’s a chance to see what’s new in the gear for self defense but also to ...

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The NRA Show, part one: the “gunny” stuff

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On Wednesdays I normally post a Hump Day Reading List, but this week is a little different!

I’ve just returned from the NRA Annual Meetings in Louisville, KY. The big draw for the NRAAM is the trade show, which is the largest consumer trade show in the shooting industry (the annual SHOT Show is restricted to industry members.)

While the show is geared toward guns for all kinds of purposes a very large percentage of the people attending are in the ...

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The NRA Show is done. Not sure what day this is…

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Just coming back from the whirlwind of the NRA Annual Meeting in Louisville, KY. Boy, am I tired…and I think I’m going to relax for a bit before I jump right back into the blogging thing.

Well, before that I have to tackle the pile of mail on my desk; then I have to unpack and get my dirty clothes into the laundry hamper; then I have a whole raft of emails that I didn’t bother answering while I was busy at the show.

Oh, ...

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A burglar, a boy, and bullets aplenty: how not to respond when life isn’t at stake.

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A couple of weeks back social media was all abuzz at the case of an 11-year-old “hero” who shot a burglar. Now I know we’ve all seen “Home Alone” and cheered when little Kevin McAllister (Macaulay Caulkin) got the best of the would-be burglars, but in this case there’s much less to celebrate.

The news reports I’ve read differ slightly in the details, and frankly the boy’s story appears to keep changing, but what is consistent is that a burglar ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for May 18, 2016

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It’s the Hump Day Reading List! To start off, we look at a case where a police officer used his trauma kit to save his own life; a story of a man who shot a neighbor under less-than-perfect circumstances; the horrific incident that started one man on the path to an armed lifestyle; the myth of racking a shotgun; taking apart a classic Savage pistol; a comprehensive look at what cover is and isn’t; what you know determines what you ...

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Reliability testing your defensive ammunition: important but often ignored!

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Last week I headed out to the range to do some testing. Not practice, really (though I did use the opportunity to get in some realistic practice drills), but ammunition testing.

Now you’ve probably seen YouTube videos about ammunition testing, complete with gelatin blocks (or their synthetic equivalent) and breathless talk about penetration and expansion. That’s not the kind of testing I was doing; instead, I was testing some new ammunition in two autoloading pistols that I carry for personal defense.

Why ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for May 11, 2016

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I love putting together the Hump Day Reading List, because I get to learn too! This week: aftermarket parts aren’t all they’re cracked up to be; the popularity of suppressors; concealable guns drive concealed carry; how to recognize when you’re being played; shooting through aluminum isn’t as easy as you might think; you are still not the police; what’s in a trauma kit and why; how to tame the recoil of the shotgun; and Greg Ellifritz looks at a favorite ...

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Did your defensive shooting instructor get his certificate from the University Of Facebook?

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A couple of weeks ago I was witness to an interesting incident on social media. There were two involved parties with me as a mutual contact observing both sides. In that incident are lessons for those who are searching for reliable self defense training and information.

The first party — who is fairly well known in the defensive training world — posted a link to an article or video (I really don’t remember which) about a specific type of response technique. The second party ...

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Did you miss last night’s Training Talk? Watch it now!

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If you missed last night’s Training Talk LIVE show, you missed a great one!

My special guest was Julie Loeffler — defensive shooting instructor, certified Defensive Firearms Coach, and Martial Arts Hall Of Fame member. She’s also a professional woman who loves the latest in fashion, and we talked about how the professional woman, working in a non-permissive environment, can effectively conceal a defensive firearm.

Julie is one of the very few women I know (maybe the only one) who ...

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Rob Pincus and Bob Owens arguing over the Weaver stance: a critical analysis of the controversy.

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About a week ago, Rob Pincus put up a video at Personal Defense Network regarding the use of the Weaver Stance in defensive shooting. Bob Owens at BearingArms apparently took exception to Pincus’ points and posted a personal invective at his own site titled “OH, DEAR: Rob Pincus Doesn’t Understand The Weaver Position.”

Rob asked me to take a look at both his video and Owen’s article; he said, and this is an exact quote from his email, that “I want an ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for May 4, 2016

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I’ve really got something for everyone today! Starting off, there’s Greg Ellifritz with an article on how to handle people following you; Ian McCollum looks at some incredible engraved revolvers; a way to ease into the preparedness world; a reason why some rifle cartridges destroy barrels; some advice on what to do when your child reaches for your gun; avoiding social violence by being smarter than the other guy; ideas for outdoor security lighting; and all you ever wanted to know ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for April 27, 2016

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It’s Wednesday (again), but I’ve got happiness for you: the Hump Day Reading List! This week we look at a defensive shooting that really wasn’t; why you fear a knife attack; Ian McCollum brings us an interesting .22 rifle from the days of yore; quick-access safes may not be all that safe; the AR-15 takes on all comers, and emerges victorious; when is a leg wound an abdominal wound?; carrying while on vacation; and Greg Ellifritz brings us some lessons ...

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How to afford the training you need? Sell a gun! (I’m serious.)

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First, I’m going to ask you to go to the PDN site and watch this video of Rob Pincus speaking at last year’s NRA Annual Meeting (watch through at least the 4:45 mark, but I strongly suggest watching the whole thing.)

One of the issues I confront frequently is the excuse that people “can’t afford” the self defense or defensive shooting training they need. They’ll acknowledge that it’s important, agree that they should have it, then say that they just ...

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